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Apr 19, 2013 06:55 AM

Dumplings, like freshly made in Southern NE

Where do you go for real dumplings around here? What about homemade Asian noodles or Ramen? Was spoiled by Chinatown in NY- need a fix!!

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  1. For starters, where exactly is "around here"? Southern NE isn't a big area, but the answer depends greatly on where you live.

    As someone else who is spoiled by the Chinatown in Flushing Queens, the short answer is "Chinatown". We live in Fairfield County and get into NYC enough so that we rarely eat Chinese food locally.

    Asiana (Greenwich) and Ching's (New Canaan) have OK dumplings, but they are expensive. I am also curious to hear if other posters know of hand-pulled noodles in the area.

    4 Replies
    1. re: SteveSCT

      SteveCT...I don't know about dumplings for the OP, but hand-pulled noodles is hopeful here:

      New to Fairfield (Connecticut) scene is:
      First restaurant, Pho Vietnam, is in Danbury: (for the Northern Fairfield County folks, including saturngrrl
      I have not been yet, but plan to go very soon. However, I've hear very good things about Pho, so I can only hope the Fairfield location is just as good.

      1. re: luvarugula

        Luvarugula -

        Thanks, I forgot about Pho Vietnam when I posted - I was probably fixated on Chinese food rather than Asian in general. I have enjoyed their original location several times, so I agree that Fairfield should be worth a try.

        I'm more skeptical about Mecha, since they seem to aim very broadly (from their website: "We are American-Vietnamese-Japanese-Thai-Chinese-Korean-New England-Momofuku-Wagamama-and-Ippudo-inspired." Yikes!). The owners are Vietnamese, so I look forward to trying their pho first, then moving out the menu.

        1. re: SteveSCT

          Don't let that (slightly tongue-in-cheek) phrase from Mecha's website throw you. It's a more a statement of inspiration rather than a roadmap to an unfocused menu.

          Of the dishes I've tried there, I've found all of them to be well conceived and executed.

          If you go, I actually recommend trying some of their other, more distinctive, dishes rather than the pho. The pho is good, but not dramatically different from what you'd get at the restaurantuer's original restaurant Pho Vietnam in Danbury, the main difference being you'll pay about $3-4 more per bowl ($11).

          The ramens are pretty authentic, and something that you just don't find in Fairfield County. And the appetizers I've had -- KFC Bao, Caesar rolls, Kale salad -- were also dishes you normally wouldn't find in the run of the mill FC Asian Fusion restaurant.

          1. re: plien69

            That sounds very encouraging and reassuring. I look forward to giving it a try.

    2. Steve's absolutely right --- set your parameters.
      For example, if you live in the Pioneer Valley, the answer is --- NOWHERE.

      1. The homestyle dumplings at Butterfly in HAdley MA are better than many I have had in Queens.

        ADong in West Hartford sells homemade noodles and ramen that are very good.

        1. ok- NW CT/Great Barrington if I were to be specific. But everything is 30 minutes away- so I travel. But, yeah, I know I'm not getting Flushing... The crazy thing is, we all want it- someone could rake it in if they actually opened up here!!

          11 Replies
          1. re: LETTUCEINLOVE

            I've said that about Chinese restaurants in Fairfield County, but no one has done it yet (at least to the best of my knowledge).

            Many restauranteurs clearly believe that there is more money to be made in keeping ethnic food "accessible" rather than authentic. That is changing with regard to other cuisines around here, Indian and Mexican, to name 2, but not Chinese. I'm infuriated by inane "fusion" restaurants that sell mediocre sushi and pad thai from a clearly Chinese kitchen, but many of them seem to do great business and success brings imitators.

            1. re: SteveSCT

              Steve, the problem is that Fairfield County is NY centric. Too close for comfort. If we want 'authentic' we hop into NYC.

              That said, I lived in New Haven County for 50+ years and in Trumbull for almost 10. I go 10 minutes to Milford to Lao Sze Chuan for truly authentic Chinese food. It has been reviewed on these boards in detail.

              Milford is just far enough to make a hop into NYC for dinner inconvenient, yet close enough to ensure fresh authentic ingredients from the NYC suppliers.

              BTW>>>I have spent much time in China and have a Chinese daughter and feel qualified to make this opinion.

              I detest the Asian fusion restaurants and the vile all encompassing buffets (Chinese/Tepenyaki/Sushi/Pizza/Meatloaf) that proliferate throughout southern CT

              1. re: bagelman01

                Still too far for me! Maybe I need to be on a different thread- because I'd drive to Dutchess or Columbia County, NY or even parts of Mass- like off Route 7 on the way to VT. Im almost never near New Haven anymore. :(

                1. re: LETTUCEINLOVE

                  Dutchess county?
                  Try Palace Dumplings in Wappingers Falls
                  Great dumplings and Dan Dan Noodles


                  1. re: adobocaster

                    Thank you!! Gonna try and report back!!

                    1. re: adobocaster

                      Thank you so much for this recommendation!
                      The dumplings were delicious, fresh, homemade. The menu is all about dumplings and noodles, with a couple of salads tossed in. We had the horseradish cucumber salad, which was very refreshing- almost tasted like my Jewish grandma's if a little dill were to be added. We also had shrimp and chive and pork and cabbage, both pan fried. Both were not greasy, loaded with flavor. Dipping sauce is on the table. A sweet sauce (our favorite), "dumpling sauce" which was a tasteless ginger-orange thing, hot chili oil and soy sauce. We would have liked a more traditional vinegar based sauce. 3 dishes total cost $40 (a little pricey). Will definitely go back.

                      1. re: LETTUCEINLOVE

                        This is one of our favorite places - we have made the 45-minute drive there from the Danbury, CT area often. When we first discovered them (thanks to CH, of course), we went three times in a two-week span! I adore their kimchi, and their potato "salad" is incredible (fried, super crispy shredded potatoes with a very light vinegary dressing). And the all-veggie dumplings ended up being my very favorite - they're super flavorful, almost surprisingly so! But I also have thoroughly enjoyed any of the others I've tried... chicken, pork, shrimp... all delicious.I don't care for lamb, but the SO raves about the lamb! We like to get extra dumplings (steamed) to bring home and pan fry later... They raised their prices a bit a month or two ago, but I don't care. Totally worth it.

                  2. re: bagelman01

                    I have seen you and others post about Lao Sze, and I do intend to try it if I am having dinner in the area. And to illustrate your point about the NYC problem, we found ourselves across the street from X'ian Famous yesterday, which cured my Chinese fix for a while.

                  3. re: SteveSCT

                    We really do have NASTY MEXICAN FOOD around here. It is not authentic at all.

                    1. re: temilove

                      agreed. And I love Mexican- from tex/mex American, to authentic. I might like tex/mex even more... not particularly pc, but im keeping it real

                      1. re: temilove

                        You and I have had this discussion before, and while there is no decent Tex-Mex in the area and plenty of other lousy but popular spots, Mexican acquaintances have pointed me towards a handful of spot that remind them of home. They are often holes-in-the-wall, with no hard shell tacos (which are American)

                  4. Having just moved to Greenwich from NY myself my favorite place is Hunan Gourmet in Riverside. They even have soup dumplings and Dim Sum. No ramen though.